The Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the inductees for the Class of 2018. The inductees includes one team- the 1991 Boys’ Soccer Team, WPIAL and PA State champs, one contributor- Jim Crable, and three athletes- Dickie Lee, Class of 1967, Kelly Collins, Class of 1978, and Nathan Liberty, Class of 2001.
"Once again we are extremely impressed with the qualifications of another hall of fame class,” says QVHS Athletic Director Mike Mastroianni. “The Class of 2018 represents different eras and their credentials are remarkable and unquestioned. Our athletic department and our school district are very fortunate to have had such distinguished contributors.”
The Class of 2018 will be inducted into the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, September 23, at a brunch and awards ceremony at Sewickley Heights Golf Club. This will be the featured event of the QV Sports Hall of Fame weekend celebration beginning with recognition at the football game on Friday, September 21. The Hall of Fame committee is encouraging all former Quaker Valley Hall of Fame inductees, athletes and supporters to attend the weekend festivities.
The 1991 Boys’ Soccer Team coached by Gene Klein, had a record of 26-1 and won the section title, were WPIAL champs and won the school’s second PIAA state championship. The Quakers lost their first game of the season and then went on a remarkable 26 game winning streak. They defeated South Park in the WPIAL final and Holy Ghost Prep in the state championship game in a hard fought 1-0 win. The Quakers outscored their opponents 128-15. Senior captain Jeff Vorberger and junior Kevin Kress anchored a stellar defense, as goalkeeper Mike Birely posted 16 shutouts. Future QV Sports Hall of Famer and senior co-captain Ben McKnight led the Quakers with 40 goals, while sophomore Phil Oxendine netted 29. The ’91 team was the impetus for an unmatched run in PIAA soccer history, as the Quakers would make the state finals in five of the next six years and win four state titles.
Jim Crable, enters the Hall of Fame in the “Contributor” category. One of the unsung heroes of Quaker Valley athletics, it was Jim Crable who helped start youth sports in the Quaker Valley area. A graduate of Schenley High School and Wilberforce University, Jim began working at the Sewickley Community Center in the 1960’s. During his time at SCC he became aware of various problems young boys were having at school and at home. With an objective to build trust, better behaviors, encourage discipline and motivate them to position themselves for teamwork and future success in life, Jim started the Positive Motivation Group at SCC. After meeting with then Quaker Valley Superintendent, Dr. Leroy Kite, Jim took another step and started his After School mentoring program and recruited QV teachers and volunteers to assist. His After School program soon evolved into an after school basketball program. He recruited Pitt baskeball players and professional players from the ABA Pittsburgh Condors to assist in their development through summer camps and leagues. In the 1970’s Jim continued his mission to provide sports programs for children and started the first youth football program for children 8-10 and 11-12. In order to finance the league Jim had to convince a local sporting good company to provide $8000 worth of equipment. It took years for the program to pay off this debt. The SSC sports program later morphed into adult leagues for basketball and softball. Jim’s vision was for all children and his Sewickley Redskins team was the first in the area to have a girl on the team, which was worthy of a feature story on KDKA television. Jim and his wife Elaine currently live in Moon Twp. where he remains proud of the Quaker Valley success story.
Dickie Lee, ’67 became the first Quaker Valley basketball player to average over 20 points per game and helped set the standard of excellence for QV boys’ basketball. A three-year letter winner and an all-section performer in 1966-67, Dickie starred for Coach Vince Cortese, himself a QV Sports Hall of Famer. He was the catalyst of the ‘66-67 season as the Quakers recorded 15 wins, the most in school history at that time. Dickie led the team in scoring with a school record average of 20.3 ppg and set another school record with 427 points for the season. He also graduated as QV’s all-time career scoring leader. His scoring records would stand until another QV Sports Hall of Famer, Keith Starr, would break them several years later. Dickie later served his country in the Vietnam War.
Kelly Collins Grip, ’78 remains the only female in Quaker Valley history to win the PIAA state golf title. Kelly captured the PIAA state title her senior year on October 15, 1977 shooting a 83 and a 84 for a two round total of 167, beating the runner-up by two strokes. One of the first girls to play on the Quaker Valley Boys’ golf team, she helped lead the Quakers to an undefeated 10-0 season and the WPIAL section title. An active member of the Sewickley Heights Women’s Golf Team, Kelly would participate and win various tournaments and events sponsored by the Women’s Golf Association of Western PA. After QV Kelly also starred for the Stonehill College Men’s Golf team. Kelly currently resides in Nashua, New Hampshire with her family.
Nathan Liberty, ’01 excelled on the football field, but graduated as one of the most well-rounded and versatile athletes in Quaker Valley history. He earned an amazing 12 letters at QV: 4 in football, 4 in track, 2 in wrestling and one in baseball and basketball. In football he starred as a defensive back and running back and earned three all-conference honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. Nathan capped his QV career earning all-state honors and Post-Gazette all-conference Fabulous 22 his senior year. He then went on to play four years of football at California University and was a defensive starter on Cal’s 2005 PSAC championship team. While at Cal, Nathan earned the PSAC scholar-athlete award every year and was a 3 time California University Presidential Scholar. Nathan is the current head football coach at Fairview HS in Erie.
The Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame will publish full biographies and records of each inductee throughout the summer. Watch for more updates and information regarding the weekend festivities. Tickets to attend the Hall of Fame induction banquet will go on sale in early August. For more information or for anyone interesting in contributing to the Hall of Fame and the weekend events, contact Gene Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org.